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J Am Chem Soc. 2007 Dec 26;129(51):15839-47. Epub 2007 Nov 30.

Hollowing Sn-doped TiO2 nanospheres via ostwald ripening.

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  • 1Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260.


The well-known physical phenomenon Ostwald ripening in crystal growth has been widely employed in template-free fabrication of hollow inorganic nanostructures in recent years. Nevertheless, all reported works so far are limited only to stoichiometric phase-pure solids. In this work we describe the first investigation of doped (nonstoichiometric) materials using Ostwald ripening as a means of creating interior space. In particular, we chose the xSnO2-(1 - x)TiO2 binary system to establish preparative principles for this approach in synthesis of structurally and compositionally complex nanomaterials. In this study, uniform Sn-doped TiO2 nanospheres with hollow interiors in 100% morphological yield have been prepared with an aqueous inorganic route under hydrothermal conditions. Furthermore, our structural and surface analyses indicate that Sn4+ ions can be introduced linearly into TiO2, and preferred structural phase(s) can also be attained (e.g., either anatase or rutile, or their mixtures). Fluoride anions of starting reagents are adsorbed on the surface sites of oxygen. The resultant anion overlayer may contribute to stabilization of surface and creation of repulsive interaction among the freestanding nanospheres. On the basis of these findings, we demonstrate that Ostwald ripening can now be employed as a general hollowing approach to architect interior spaces for both simple and complex nanostructures.

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